The people of Ladakh seemed to welcome the move of becoming Union Territory (UT) and celebrated it in a traditional way.
Ladakh has been declared as a Union Territory by the Modi govt and this offers an opportunity for the development of tourism in the region. The people of Ladakh have welcomed the move of becoming a Union Territory (UT) and celebrated it in their traditional way. Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (MoS) (independent-charge) of tourism and culture, said that the ministry is planning to invest extensively in the tourism sector of Ladakh.
The Minister, while talking about Ladakh tourism, reportedly said that “Government is working on a number of tourism development of projects. The focus is to attract a large number of tourists. Earlier, the tourists had to camp, as the lodging facilities were limited. Our focus is on improving the lodging and other important facilities for the tourist visiting Ladakh. Also, there are plans to open a number of zoos.”
The government is planning to develop facilities for a homestay in the monasteries which are present in almost all important parts of the region. Along with this, eco-tourism could be a focus area for the government too. The government is planning to promote ecological activities like bird watching. Preservation of structures with importance from the heritage point of view is also a concern. The idea of promoting Ladakh amongst the writers and researchers as an ideal location for their work is also being worked upon.
Prahlad Singh Patel, MoS, Ministry of Tourism and Culture told HT that “It is my personal thought that Leh and Ladakh never got the desired attention. The region lagged in infrastructural development as earlier everything was focused on the development of Jammu and Kashmir. Also, people of Leh and Ladakh have to work really hard to get employment or to find a road to development for their people and the region. We have started working extensively on a plan to increase the tourist-influx in Leh; it is a clean and peaceful place.”
According to reports, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is working on restoring the heritage structures in the region. The ASI has already begun to preserve a 500-year-old structure in Henaksu village which is made entirely of mud and is know as Lhonpo House. Also, the government is working on the development of new tourist attractions.
The tourism Minister, Prahlad Singh Patel, adding to his statement said that “The government is trying to develop methods to inform tourists about the different species of animals unique to the region. Facilities encouraging ecological activities like bird-watching will be developed.”
Notably, in the past two to three years, there has been a significant increase in the number of tourists visiting Leh and Ladakh. The data available with the ministry of tourism suggests that as much as 50,000 more tourists visited the region in 2018 in comparison to the tourists in 2017. The data reveals that 3,27,366 tourists visited Ladakh in 2018 which included 49,477 foreigners.